Australia’s Noel Ratcliffe heads into the final round of this year’s Temes Seniors Open at Glyfada GC in Greece with a great chance to become just the third double winner on this season’s European Seniors Tour.
The 56-year-old from Sydney, who won the recent Scotsman Scottish Seniors Open at Dalmahoy, added a three under par 69 to his opening 71 to share the lead with Scotland’s Norman Wood and Japan’s Toshiaki Namiki, both of whom also recorded second round 69s.
He now has a great chance to join Scotland’s David Huish, winner of the Lawrence Batley and the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open, and America’s John Grace, winner of the Belfry PGA Seniors and the Ordina Legend in Golf, as two-time winners on this year’s circuit and also to extend his lead at the top of the Senior Tour’s Order of Merit.
The three leaders go into the final 18 holes one shot ahead of a Northern Ireland’s Eddie Polland and America’s David Oakley and Kurt Cox, and two in front of Canada’s Bill Hardwick and England’s Maurice Bembridge.
Overnight leader, Northern Ireland’s David Jones, who opened with a 66 that tied the course record, collapsed to a seven over par 79, finishing in a tie for 18th place on one over par 145.
There was even worse news for former Ryder Cup captain, Bernard Gallacher, who was forced to withdraw after 13th holes of his second round suffering from a hand injury. Gallacher, still chasing his first Seniors Tour title to add to the 13 he won on the regular European Tour, was standing at three over par at the time and well inside the cut line but felt he could not go on.
The cut fell at 150 and among those to miss out were England’s Peter Townsend (75-76), John Hudson (76-77), David Snell (78-75 and Sid Denham (79-77); Ireland’s Leonard Owens (76-75), Dr Arthur Spring (78-74), Michael Lynch (77-82) and Bryan Malone (80-81); Northern Ireland’s Kenny Stevenson (75-78); and Scotland’s Gordon MacDonald (76-76), Gordon Brown (77-76) and Don McCart (76-79).
Ireland’s Raymond Kane scored the first hole-in-one of the week, holing out on the 159-yard par-3 5th hole using a 7-iron. The Dubliner returned a 71 for a three over par total of 147.